The Squid's Ear Magazine


Webber / Morris Big Band: Both Are True (Greenleaf Music)

Since 2015, composers-performers-conductors Anna Webber and Angela Morris have brought their compositions and playing skill to their Webber/Morris Big Band, 18 stellar New York improvisers integrating improvisation and composed material in unorthodox ways & with extra-musical sources, heard here at Roulette in Brooklyn in 2018 and at Buckminster Forest in 2019.
 

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Personnel:



Charlotte Greve-alto saxophone, clarinet

Jay Rattman-alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute

Lisa Parrott-baritone saxophone, bass clarinet

Adam Hopkins-bass

Reginald Chapman-bass trombone

Angela Morris-conductor, tenor saxophone, flute

Anna Webber-conductor, tenor saxophone, flute

Jeff Davis-drums

Dustin Carlson-guitar

Marc Hannaford-piano

Adam Schneit-tenor saxophone, clarinet

Jen Baker-trombone

Nick Grinder-trombone

Tim Vaughn-trombone

Adam O'Farrill-trumpet, flugelhorn

Jake Henry-trumpet, flugelhorn

John Lake-trumpet, flugelhorn

Kenny Warren-trumpet, flugelhorn

Patricia Brennan-vibraphone


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UPC: 186980000756

Label: Greenleaf Music
Catalog ID: CD-GRE-1075
Squidco Product Code: 28738

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, New York, on November 27th, 2018, except tracks 2, 7, 8 recorded on October 20th, 2019 at Buckminster Forest.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The heyday of the big band is over. The era when the 18 musicians in a swing band could tour the country together and each make a living (a 52-week salary, in fact) playing the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Bennie Goodman, or the Dorsey Brothers is a thing of the past. So, is the big band dead in 2020? Far from it. NYC-based saxophonists Anna Webber and Angela Morris are at the forefront of a wave of young, modern composers dead-set on pushing the historic art form into the future. The situation has changed, however. Leading a big band in 2020 is an undertaking of pure passion, a labor of love. It is no longer a feasible way to make a living as a musician, or a possible path to widespread international recognition and fortune as the composer/bandleader. In fact, it is nearly impossible to not lose money on such a venture. Composing and arranging for big band takes a considerable amount of time, and simply getting 18 musicians in one room for a performance, not to mention rehearsals, is a daunting task to put it mildly. Yet there is a small but persistent new class of composers who, despite all of the difficulties presented by this pursuit, are committed (addicted even) to exploring the compositional possibilities that only this large ensemble formation offers. New York Times jazz journalist Giovanni Russonello referred to the big band as "a vessel of grandiose possibility," and enthusiasts of modern jazz are fortunate to witness this new class revolutionize what is possible, harnessing the power of this classic ensemble in ways never before heard.

While there is a precedent for what they are doing, no other ensemble sounds quite like the Webber/Morris Big Band, an 18-piece ensemble comprised of NYC's brightest and most in-demand improvisers mostly under the age of 40. While I'm sure both would cite Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and other composers from the golden era of big band as influences, their main inspiration can be more directly traced to the modern large ensembles of John Hollenbeck (with whom Webber studied composition), Darcy James Argue (with whom Morris studied composition), Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely, and Bob Brookmeyer. The debut album Both Are True will firmly place Webber and Morris in the next generation of NYC's elite large-ensemble composer/bandleaders alongside Miho Hazama, Brian Krock, Remy LeBoeuf, and Jihye Lee, all who have received international acclaim for modern big band albums released in the past five years. Like all of these young composers Webber and Morris draw musical influence from outside of the scope of the traditional big band. From Morris' minimalist leanings on "Coral," which features an extended trumpet improvisation by Adam O'Farrill over a dilatory wash of chords, to Webber's nod to Iannis Xenakis on "Rebonds," during which guitarist Dustin Carlson will surely win the hearts of any fans of David Torn or Marc Ducret (fans of Webber may recall that her critically acclaimed Clockwise was written entirely in homage to her favorite percussion pieces by 20th century composers). There are countless additional examples throughout the album-the noise intro on "And It Rolled Right Down," the vocal chorale to close "Climbing On Mirrors" (yes, the whole band sings), or Webber's minute-long multiphonic improvisation before launching a tour de force solo over Morris' prodding background figures on the title track "Both Are True." The list goes on. In a 2019 interview with Kurt Gottschalk, Webber says the goal is to "try to make it sound the least like big-band music as possible," and Morris quite aptly follows with, "It's an interesting challenge to take a form that has a legacy and try to do something new with it." Seems to hit the nail on the head, and it is a challenge that both Webber and Morris successfully conquer track after track on Both Are True."-Greenleaf Music


Artist Biographies

"Charlotte Greve is a New York-based alto saxophonist and composer originally from Germany. With a unique concept of tone and composition, she has been making a mark on both the Brooklyn and German jazz scenes. Charlotte has released seven albums as a leader of her bands Lisbeth Quartett and Wood River, two of which received an ECHO Jazz.

Further projects in New York are the Alto Saxophone quartet Asterids with Alto colleagues Caroline Davis, Oscar Noriega and Caleb Curtis as well as a trio with Vinnie Sperrazza and Chris Tordini called The Choir Invisible. Side-woman appearances include bands such as Matt Pavolka's Horn's band, Big Heart Machine and Vinnie Sperrazza's Apocryphal.

Born in 1988, Greve began playing classical flute at the age of eight and picked up the saxophone at the age of sixteen. She received her undergraduate degree at the Jazz Institute Berlin in 2012. The same year, she moved to New York City where she completed a masters degree in Jazz performance. Greve's most important teachers and mentors throughout her artistic journey have been John Hollenbeck, Mark Turner, Greg Cohen, and Billy Drewes."

-Charlotte Greve Website (http://charlottegreve.de/bio)
2/26/2024

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"As an expatriate Australian who has shown that she can succeed on the competitive New York jazz scene, alto and baritone saxophonist Lisa Parrott has been based in New York since the early '90s.

In 2021, Lisa received a Chamber Music America Performance Plus grant for her new harmolodic septet, 'We Love Ornette'. The grant included workshops with drummer and son of Ornette Coleman, Denardo Coleman, and a subsequent recording. After spending two days recording at Samurai Hotel in November 2022, the 'We Love Ornette' debut recording will be released in 2023.

In 2022, Lisa was honored to play and act in the inaugural sold out run of the HERE Theater's NYC production of Taylor Mac's 'The Hang' that was described by the New Yorker as a dada drag jazz opera extravaganza!"

-Lisa Parrott Website (https://lisaparrott.com/about)
2/26/2024

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"Adam Hopkins: Bassist, composer, educator, and semi-professional parallel parker from Baltimore MD-the Land of Pleasant Living. Relocated to Brooklyn NY in 2011, but Baltimore will always be home.

Extended Bio:

Adam Hopkins is a bassist, composer, and educator born and raised in Baltimore MD and relocated to Brooklyn NY in 2011. He has extensive experience performing jazz and improvised music and has played with professional orchestras in Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and the DC metro area.

Adam currently appears in a number of NYC-based ensembles both as a leader and sideman. As a sideman he closed 2017 with performances led by Henry Threadgill as well as a European tour with John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet. He performs regularly with BeepHonk, Laila & Smitty, Anna Webber's Rectangles, Danny Gouker's Signal Problems, Christopher Hoffman Trio, Kate Gentile Mannequins, Dustin Carlson's Air Ceremony, Ideal Bread, Patrick Breiner's Double Double & Practical Mysticism. He currently leads three NYC-based bands (Adam Hopkins' Crickets, Bells + Wires, and Party Pack ICE) - for more information about any of these groups please refer to the Projects section of this site. Adam has studied double bass with many great performers and teachers of the instrument, including Michael Formanek, Jeffrey Weisner, Jack Budrow, Rodney Whitaker, and Sam Cross and additional studies with Drew Gress and Gary Thomas.

In August of 2018 Adam will launch his own record label called Out Of Your Head Records, with the intention of releasing his own albums, and albums of music he loves made by his friends. Also there will be t-shirts and stickers, because who doesn't love t-shirts and stickers?

In addition to being a performer he has extensive experience as a curator. In 2009 he co-founded an improvised music collective called the Out of Your Head Collective, which maintained weekly performances in Baltimore for 5+ years at The Windup Space. Upon moving to New York in 2011 he started a Brooklyn-based chapter which involved over 100 of the city's greatest improvisers. He currently co-curates a weekly performance series in Crown Heights called A.E. Randolph Presents, now in its fourth year, and previously curated the weekly performance series 65Fen.

Adam held a faculty position at Loyola University for six years as a professor of double and electric bass, music theory, ear training, and jazz ensembles. Currently he teaches privately in his home studio and designs improvisation-based workshops for business through sfz Creative, a company he co-founded with musical associates Eric Trudel and Danny Gouker. He holds a graduate performance diploma from Peabody Conservatory in Jazz Studies, a master's degree from Michigan State University in Orchestral Bass Performance, and a bachelor's degree from James Madison University in Music Industry."

-Adam Hopkins Website (https://www.adam-hopkins.com/about/)
2/26/2024

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"If Brooklyn's music circles draw a venn diagram, Angela Morris thrives in the loop between avant-jazz, new music, and pop. As composer and multi-instrumentalist, (known mostly as saxophonist, she grew up playing violin) she has performed throughout North America and Europe everywhere from basements to arenas.

The Webber|Morris Big Band, her 18-piece jazz big band, performs original compositions by Morris and co-leader Anna Webber. The New York Times praised their "ambitious original compositions" and "jagged-edged band that has begun to turn musicians' heads." The ensemble will release their debut album Both Are True on Greenleaf Music in 2020.

Morris' vocal group Rallidae has released two albums: 2016's Turned, and Was on the NYC-based label Gold Bolus Recordings and 2014's Paper Birds, which AllAboutJazz called "a genuinely distinctive, and entertaining, combination of sounds and words... An exceptional debut by and exciting and innovative new band."

As a co-leader, Morris is a member of TMT, a trio with Cat Toren on piano and Anthony Taddeo on drums, who recently released Asleep in the Dust - an art book and double CD collaboration with visual artist Jerry Birchfield. Another collaborative trio, Motel released like you always do, I always did too (Prom Night Records) 2017. And the band Skellettes with Nathaniel Morgan (saxophone), Jason Ajemian (bass) and Booker Stardrum (drums) performs at Winter Jazzfest in 2020.

Since 2016, Morris has organized the monthly, multi-disciplinary, experimental concert series Brackish - music & art at St. Lydia's Dinner Church in Brooklyn.

Morris performs with Jessica Pavone String Ensemble, and performed on their 2019 debut album Brick and Mortar. She has performed with Myra Melford in duo and other formats. She is a frequent collaborator and touring band member with "cosmic synth-folk" musician Helado Negro, appearing on his records Private Energy (Expanded), This is How You Smile, and Helado Negro and the Smile Band - Live at KCRW.

A 2019 Composer Fellow at Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, Morris has also been artist-in-residence at Willapa Bay AiR, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Banff Centre. She holds an MA in Music Composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music at CUNY Queens College in New York and BA in Jazz Studies from Humber College in Toronto. She is an alumna of the BMI Jazz Composer's Workshop lead by Jim McNeely and studied composition with Darcy James Argue."

-Angela Morris Website (https://angelamorrismusic.com/bio/)
2/26/2024

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"Reedist Anna Webber, a Brooklynite by way of British Columbia, is one of the most exciting new arrivals on the New York avant-garde jazz scene in the past couple years. Her second album, SIMPLE, demonstrates the inextricable link between her improvising and her compositions; her detail-rich writing recalls the work of elders as disparate as Tim Berne and Henry Threadgill, and her busy motion evokes a fizzy sort of exhilaration.-Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Anna Webber is an integral part of a new wave of the Brooklyn avant-garde jazz scene. A saxophonist and flutist who strives for the unexpected, she has furthermore consistently proven herself to be a unique and forward-thinking composer with releases such as 2014's SIMPLE (Skirl Records) and 2013's Percussive Mechanics. Binary, the follow-up to SIMPLE which features bandmates John Hollenbeck and Matt Mitchell, further establishes Webber as a compelling improvisor and composer."

-Anna Webber Website (http://www.annakristinwebber.com/index2.html)
2/26/2024

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"Percussionist/composer Jeff Davis has established himself in New York as a vital contributor to the local and international creative music scenes. Jeff is widely sought out for his unique, textural approach to the drum set, as well as for his power and intensity. As a featured member of a number of creative ensembles in New York, Davis has recorded for such labels as Clean Feed, Fresh Sound/New Talent, Green Leaf, Loyal Label, Jazzaway, and innova records. These ensembles include the Jesse Stacken Trio, Michael Bates Outside Sources, Kirk Knuffke Quartet, Landon Knoblock Trio/Quartet, Ben Holmes Quartet, Pascal Niggenkemper 'Newfield' trio, Pedro Giruado Jazz Orchestra, Pete Robbins' Unnamed Quartet, Jon Irabagon's Outright!, Eivind Opsvik's Overseas, Tone Collector(Tony Malaby, Eivind Opsvik, Jeff Davis), the RIDD Quartet, Kris Davis Quartet, and the Ryan Keberle Organ Group. In addition to these working bands, Davis has also performed with such artists as Tony Malaby, Chris Speed, Gebhard Ullmann, Brad Shepik, Ralph Alessi, and Ron Horton.

Davis has toured Europe and China and has performed at several prominent jazz festivals, including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Jazz Festival, and the Earshot Jazz Festival. He performs regularly in various New York listening rooms, such as the Stone, the Jazz Standard, the Jazz Gallery, Birdland, NuBlu, Barbes, Zebulon, the Knitting Factory, Joe's Pub, the Iridium, and the 55-Bar.

Jeff Davis is currently leading and composing for his own ensemble, featuring New York greats Tony Barba, Kirk Knuffke, Jon Goldberger, Kris Davis, and Eivind Opsvik. This group of like minded improvisers recorded for Davis' debut CD in June of 2007, and is set to be released on Tuesday, March 30th 2010 for the record label, Loyal Label. The music from this group ventures to blur the line between composition and improvisation, and highlights equally the individual soloist as well as collective improvisation. Jeff also leads a trio/quartet featuring Matt Pavolka, Oscar Noriega, and Jon Goldberger.

Originally from Greeley, Colorado, Jeff Davis began playing marimba at the age of nine and later studied classical percussion at the University of Northern Colorado. While in Colorado, Jeff had the opportunity to study and perform with ECM recording artist/pianist Art Lande and trumpet great Ron Miles. Davis holds a Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music."

-Jeff Davis Website (https://www.jeffdavisdrums.com/about/)
2/26/2024

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"Dustin Carlson is a Brooklyn based guitarist and composer who creates musical artworks.Dustin has performed with: Ches Smith, Anna Webber, Mike Bisio, Michael Attias, Susan Alcorn, Kim Cass, Jeremy Viner, Bruce Harris, and others."

-Out of Your Head Records (http://www.outofyourheadrecords.com)
2/26/2024

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Marc Hannaford is an improviser, composer, and academic based in New York. Fainter, Stronger presents a series of sonic portraits of some of his musical collaborators and influencers, framed within large scale temporal cycles.

-Monash Art Ensemble (https://monashschoolofmusic.bandcamp.com/releases)
2/26/2024

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"Jen Baker, trombonist/composer, has collaborated with artists all over the world in site-specific mixed media performance, concert halls, solo and chamber commissions. As an improviser she is featured on the soundtrack to Werner Herzog's Oscar-nominated Encounters at the End of the World. She has performed internationally in festivals and has toured with Arijit Singh, Karole Armitage, and Mansour, and new music ensembles S.E.M., TILT brass, and the mobile ensemble Asphalt Orchestra (founding member). Her forthcoming book, Hooked on Multiphonics aides composers and trombonists in understanding and executing the deep complexities of multiphonics."

-Jen Baker Website (http://jenbakersounds.com/)
2/26/2024

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"Adam O'Farrill is a trumpet player and composer from Brooklyn, NY. As a trumpeter, he has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mary Halvorson, Arturo O'Farrill, Mulatu Astatke, Brasstracks, Stephan Crump, Onyx Collective, Anna Webber, and Samora Pinderhughes. As a composer and bandleader, he has led the quartet, Stranger Days, comprised of Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Walter Stinson, and Zack O'Farrill. Their eponymous debut (2016, Sunnyside Records) was inspired by film and literature, while the follow-up album, El Maquech (2018, Biophilia Records) covered everything from Mexican folk music to Irving Berlin, as well as O'Farrill's original compositions. Both were critically acclaimed, with the New York Times writing of the first release, "Marshaling a sharp band of his peers, Mr. O'Farrill establishes both a firm identity and a willful urge to stretch and adapt.". The latter album was listed as one of the best jazz albums of 2018 by the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, The Boston Globe, and Nextbop. Adam's newest project, Bird Blown Out of Latitude, is an electro-acoustic nonet, playing original music inspired by the feeling of being pushed off a perceived path.

O'Farrill comes from a rich musical background, with his grandfather being the Afro-Cuban-Irish composer and arranger Chico O'Farrill, his father being the cultural boundary-pushing composer and pianist Arturo O'Farrill, his mother Alison Deane being a classical pianist and educator, and his brother Zack O'Farrill being a drummer, composer, and educator. Adam is of Mexican, Cuban, and Irish heritage on his dad's side, and Eastern European Jewish and African-American on his mom's side. This, combined with growing up in a place of immense cultural diversity, has shaped his tendency to break stylistic borders within not only his original music, but also in terms of who he works with a sideman. O'Farrill was subject of an article in Jazztimes entitled, "Adam O'Farrill Does Not Play Latin Jazz", where he spoke about the unfair treatment and pigeonholing of Latinx musicians.

Adam made his professional recording debut on Chad Lefkowitz-Brown's debut album, Imagery Manifesto, in 2013. In 2015, he appeared on two critically acclaimed records; Rudresh Mahanthappa's Bird Calls and Arturo O'Farrill's Cuba: The Conversation Continues. Adam toured internationally with Mahanthappa's band from 2014 to 2017, performing at the Newport Jazz Festival, Chicago Symphony Hall, North Sea Jazz Festival, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and more. In 2016, in addition to releasing Stranger Days, O'Farrill appeared on Stephan Crump's album, Rhombal, also garnering acclaim. Other projects he has recorded include Stimmerman (eponymous debut), Olli Hirvonen's New Helsinki, Gabriel Zucker's Weighting, and Onyx Collective's Lower East Suite Part One. Adam will also be featured on upcoming albums from Mary Halvorson, Anna Webber, Raf Vertessen, Thomas Champagne, and Idan Morim.

Adam studied at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, and obtained his Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He's studied trumpet with Jim Seeley, Nathan Warner, and Thomas Smith, and composition with Reiko Fueting and Curtis Macdonald. In 2014, O'Farrill won 3rd place honors at the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Trumpet Competition. He was also a recipient of the ASCAP Herb Albert Young Jazz Composer Award in 2013.

-Adam O'Farrill Website (https://www.adam-ofarrill.com/bio)
2/26/2024

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"Denver born trumpeter Kenny Warren has been active in New York's improvised music scene since 2006. His playing is rooted in jazz and draws heavily from American and international folk music traditions. He has released two LPs with his songwriting outfit Laila and Smitty which Bird is the Worm calls "massively genuine and unabashedly heart-on-the-sleeve open and honest". He also leads The Kenny Warren Quartet which was featured in the Festival of New Trumpet Music (2016) and whose debut album "Thank You for Coming to Life" was released in 2017 on Whirlwind Recordings.

Kenny has toured internationally and studied in the Balkans with legendary brass band Slavic Soul Party, whom he joined in 2008. In 2016, SSP released a re-imagining of Duke Ellington's Far East Suite and has held a weekly residency at Barbes in Brooklyn for over a decade. Kenny has recorded with the Middle Eastern Maqam-Jazz band Nashaz, played and recorded with indie rock icons like The Walkmen and Spoon, toured with The Budos Band, and was featured on the soundtrack of the highly acclaimed film Beasts of the Southern Wild. He is a teaching artist with Carnegie Hall's Musical Connections, and co-curator of the weekly experimental music series A.E. Randolph Presents.

Kenny has recorded a handful of records of his own music as a collaborator with ZhirtZ n ZkinZ and NOOK, and is in demand as a sideman in a number of New York music circles. Recent projects include: Ben Stapp's Zozimos, Brad Shepik's Balkan Peppers, The Angela Morris & Anna Webber Big Band, The Sway Machinery, The Sandra Weiss Quintet, The Myk Freedmans, Big Butter and The Eggmen, Andy Biskin's 16 tons, The Rob Brown Quartet, Antlers and Capillaries, and duos with Jeremiah Lockwood, Bobby Avey and Tony Malaby."

-Kenny Warren Website (https://kennywarren.tumblr.com/bio)
2/26/2024

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"Mexican born vibraphonist, marimbist and composer Patricia Brennan has been always surrounded by music. She inherited a deep love and appreciation for musical tradition from both parents, as well as being exposed to the musical richness of her native Port of Veracruz. She started studying music at 4 years old, playing latin percussion along salsa records with her father and listening to Jimmy Hendrix and Led Zeppelin records with her mother. Also, around the same age, she started playing piano, influenced by her grandmother who was a concert pianist.

At the age of 17, Patricia was selected from musicians all over the Americas to be part of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. During this time, she toured every country in the Americas and performed with renowned musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and Paquito D'Rivera. Before moving to the U. S., Patricia was already performing with the top symphony orchestras in Mexico, such as Xalapa Symphony Orchestra and Mineria Symphony Orchestra. Also, she had already won several awards on marimba competitions and young artist competitions in Mexico and abroad. She was accepted at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was able to perform alongside high caliber musicians from all over the world and conductors such as Simon Rattle and Charles Dutoit. She also performed with the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra and other acclaimed new music groups such as members from Eight Blackbird.

Patricia's search for freedom in her musical expression led her to find her voice through the vibraphone and mallet percussion in improvisational music and composition.

Currently, Patricia is a member of Grammy nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus. She is also a member of Blind Spot with Teju Cole, a project led by renowned pianist Vijay Iyer along with bassist Linda Oh and writer Teju Cole. She has also collaborated with Vijay Iyer in other projects, including the large ensemble project Open City and several small ensemble performances along with renowned musicians like bassist Reggie Workman and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. She is also a member of Phalanx Ambassadors, a project led by pianist Matt Mitchell, and she is also a member of Tomas Fujiwara's 7 Poets Trio along with cellist and composer Tomeka Reid. Among Patricia's own projects include the newly recorded solo project Kaleidoscope and MOCH.

Patricia has performed with many renown musicians including singer and composer Meredith Monk and Theo Bleckmann, saxophonists Jon Irabagon and Scott Robinson, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, drummer Marcus Gilmore, guitarist Mary Halvorson and many others. She has performed in venues such as Newport Jazz Festival, SF JAZZ, and Carnegie Hall, as well as international venues such as Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has also appeared on National Television and Public Radio several times.

Patricia has appeared on several recordings, including an ECM recording with Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus called "The Distance" and Matt Mitchell's featured recordings "A Pouting Grimace" and "Phalanx Ambassadors" under Pi Recordings. Also, Patricia recorded a new record with the Grammy nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble called "All Can Work" which was released in January 2018 under New Amsterdam Records. Patricia will be releasing her debut solo album "Kaleidoscope" in 2019."

-Patricia Brennan Website (http://www.patriciabrennanvibes.com/bio)
2/26/2024

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Track Listing:



1. Climbing On Mirrors 10:45

2. Duo 1 0:48

3. Both Are True 10:16

4. Rebonds 3:21

5. Coral 10:07

6. And It Rolled Right Down 6:36

7. Foggy Valley 3:48

8. Duo 2 1:26

9. Reverses 11:39

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Large Ensembles

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The Baltimore area quartet of Dave Ballou on trumpet, Anthony Pirog on guitar, Adam Hopkins on double bass, and Mike Kuhl on drums, met in 2011 at Baltimore's Windup Space where Adam Hopkins organized weekly concerts through the Out Of Your Head Collective; finding common ground they took the name BeepHonk, this being their first album, appropriately recorded live.
Lane, Adam Full Throttle Orchestra
Ashcan Rantings [2 CDs]
(Clean Feed)
2 CDs from the amazing little big band of bassist Lane, with trumpeters Nate Wooley & Taylor Ho Bynum, saxophonist David Bindman, trombonists Tim Vaughn & Reut Regev, & drummer Igal Foni.



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Grdina, Gordon / Jim Black
Martian Kitties
(Astral Spirits)
Thirteen succinct improvisations pitting Gordon Grdina's swinging middle-eastern flavors on the oud offset by gritty, experimental guitar work against drummer Jim Black's well-chosen and rock-solid grooves, an engaging album that shifts and explores a tremendous range of ideas and adventurous attitudes that span jazz, rock and experimental genres with ease.
Smith, Wadada Leo / Henry Kaiser / Alex Varty
Pacifica Koral Reef
(577 Records)
Interpreting trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's Ankhrasmation graphic score--the term joining the Egyptian symbol for life, the Ethiopian word for leader and the universal term for mother--Smith and guitarists Alex Varty & Henry Kaiser use the rich combination of visual cues and musical notation to record this rapturous and unduplicable album of profound and engaging improvisation.
Rova Saxophone Quartet
The Circumference of Reason
(ESP Disk)
Four decades into their project, the SF Bay Area saxophone quartet ROVA of Bruce Ackley (soprano & tenor), Steve Adams (alto & sopranino), Larry Ochs (tenor) and Jon Raskin (baritone) continue expanding their magnificent repertoire with original compositions, collective improvisations, and a piece from Glenn Spearman (Cecil Taylor, Double Trio) arranged by Larry Ochs.
Fraser, Nick Quartet
If There Were No Opposites
(ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)
First recording in 2012 as a trio with saxophonist Tony Malaby as a guest, 9 years later Toronto drummer Nick Fraser's quartet with Malaby as a permanent member, Rob Clutton on double bass and Andrew Downing on cello show their long collaboration's strength in a set of improvisations plus compositions for Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and the DJD production, Juliet & Romeo.
Modirzadeh, Hafez (Davis / Sorey / Taborn)
Facets
(Pi Recordings)
Using an unusual re-tuning of the piano, saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh enlists three inventive pianists--Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, and Craig Taborn--for a set of melodically-oriented duos, Modirzadeh using alternate fingerings and embouchure adjustments to achieve intervals between major and minor, together freeing the improvisers to explore new tonal possibilities.
Weiss, Dan Starebaby
Natural Selection
(Pi Recordings)
The follow-up to NY drummer/composer Dan Weiss's 2018 release Starebaby is an unconventional compounding of electric jazz, doom metal, electronic music, and improvisation, performed with Matt Mitchell on piano & Prophet 6, Craig Taborn on piano, Fender Rhodes & synthesizers, Ben Monder on guitars, and Trevor Dunn on electric bass.
Semantics (Elliott Sharp / Ned Rothenberg / Samm Bennett)
Semantics
(Klanggalerie)
An excellent example of the 80s Downtown NY approach to improvisation from the trio of wind player Ned Rothenberg on alto & tenor saxophones, bass clarinet & flute, Elliott Sharp on guitar, bass & violin, and Samm Bennett on drums, percussion & electronic drums, all in the height and excitement of the new music being developed and performed in NYC in the 1980s; awe-inspiring!
TEST / Roy Campbell
TEST / Roy Campbell
(577 Records)
A live recording from 1999 at Hint House in Harlem of TEST, led by Tom Bruno on drums with Matthew Heyner on bass and Sabir Mateen on alto & tenor sax, flute & clarinet, joined by Daniel Carter on alto & tenor sax, trumpet & flute, the set recorded by Matt Motel who captures the essence of this freewheeling band who brought their music not only to jazz clubs, but also to the street and subway.
Ballister
Znachki Stilyag
(Aerophonic)
The tenth year of the working and touring international Ballister trio of Dave Rempis on alto & tenor saxophones, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello & electronics, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums & percussion, here in an outrageously powerful yet explorative concert at Dom Cultural Center, in Moscow, Russia in 2019, a fierce example of what this band is capable of.
Stirrup + 6 (Lonberg-Holdm / Macri / Rumback)
The Avondale Addition
(Cuneiform)
The Stirrup trio of cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nick Macri (bass), and Charles Rumback (drums) is merged with improvisers from Lonberg-Holm's Lightbox Orchestra project--Keefe Jackson & Mars Williams on reeds, guitarist Peter Maunu, violist Jen Clare Paulson, trumpeter Russ Johnson & Zoots Houston on electronics -for this compelling structured performance at Elastic Arts.
Carter, Daniel / Matthew Shipp / William Parker / Gerald Cleaver
Welcome Adventure! Vol. 1
(577 Records)
After decades playing together, the quartet of Daniel Carter on tenor sax, trumpet & flute, Matthew Shipp on piano, William Parker on bass, and Gerald Cleaver on drums, release the first of two planned studio albums, with two extended and remarkably warm collective excursions bookending a shorter "Scintillate", in an exceptionally solid album of masterful modern jazz.
Hwang, Jason Kao / Andrew Drury / Ken Filiano
Human Rites Trio
(True Sound Recordings)
Longtime bandmates Ken Filiano (bass) and Andrew Drury (drums) join violinist Jason Kao Hwang for 6 original compositions, each a progression of gestures, songs, movements and locations that bring the musicians into a state of discovery and compassion, completed during the COVID-19 pandemic and honoring healthcare workers and those tragically lost to the disease.
MacroQuarktet, The
The Complete Night: Live At The Stone NYC [2 CDs]
(Out Of Your Head Records)
NYC Downtown mainstays, trumpeters Dave Ballou and Herb Robertson, are heard in a full concert at The Stone in NYC in 2007 with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey, concentrating their work in the Satoko Fuji Orchestra and Orange Then Blue into their own quartet, this their first performance together their energy, inventivenss and enthusiasm is on full display.
Morris, Joe
Instantiation: Switches
(Glacial Erratic)
The 4th in improving guitarist and composer Joe Morris' Instantiation series, where each part is unique, composed with specific notated and operational components such that it impossible to perform any of them the same way twice; performed with two active Boston improvisers, trombonist Eric Stilwell (hear on Joe Morris Trio "Value") and cellist & bassist Brad Barrett.



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The Squid's Ear Magazine

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